The draft decision published by the Commission for Aviation
Regulation (Commission) is highly complex and represents a radical change of
approach on the part of the Commission regarding how and when any investment
in new airport infrastructure by the Dublin Airport Authority (DAA) is remunerated
As a consequence, the DAA will take time to review the decision in full and will seek clarification from the Commission as to how its proposed new funding mechanisms will impact on the delivery of urgently-needed new facilities at Dublin Airport.
As an initial response, the DAA is disappointed the Commission has not approved the modest immediate increase in airport charges that would have provided the full funding clarity required to proceed with the building programme at Dublin Airport as soon as the planning appeals process is complete.
The DAA welcomes the Commission’s findings that the vast bulk of the company’s near-term, €1.2bn investment programme for Dublin Airport is both necessary and reasonably-priced. But it questions why this investment should be remunerated by a prospective larger incremental increase in airport charges for users from 2009, rather than the clarity of a smoother phased increase, commencing this year.
The DAA must borrow very significant sums of capital to fund Dublin Airport’s second terminal and other passenger and airfield facilities. It will now engage with the Commission to establish how the company and potential lenders can be assured that the deferred increase in airport charges will occur and will remunerate their investment appropriately.